40 km/h over the speed limit now considered stunt driving on Ottawa streets
OPP say a driver was charged with stunt driving Tuesday, June 29, 2021, after being stopped on County Road 22 in North Grenville, Ont. (Photo via the OPP / Twitter)
OTTAWA -- Ontario rolls out changes to the province's stunt driving laws today, including stricter roadside penalties for speeding and a lower threshold for stunt driving on municipal streets.
The Ontario Government passed the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act this spring, known as the MOMS Act. The MOMS Act was initially introduced on April 26.
As of July 1, the threshold for stunt driving on municipal roads drops to 40 km/h over the speed limit instead of 50 km/h an hour. The changes mean a motorist stopped speeding more than 40 km/h over the speed limit on a road with a speed limit less than 80 km/h faces a charge of stunt driving.
Until July 1, the threshold for stunt driving in Ontario was 50 km/h or more over the speed limit on a residential street.
Motorists charged with stunt driving now face longer licence suspensions and vehicle impoundment penalties when stopped for speeding, along with tougher penalties after conviction.
Under the legislation, the roadside penalty for racing and stunt driving increases the licence suspension from seven to 30 days, and a 14-day vehicle impoundment. The previous roadside penalty was a seven-day vehicle impoundment.
There is now an escalating post-conviction driver's licence suspension for drivers convicted of street racing/stunt driving:
- For a first offence, a minimum of one to three years
- For a second offence, a minimum of three to 10 years
- For a third offence, a lifetime suspension that may be reduced at a later date to be established by regulation, and
- For fourth and subsequent offences, a lifetime driver’s licence suspension.
If convicted, motorist face fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
Ontario Provincial Police say speed-related fatalities are up about 30 per cent this year.
"Aggressive driving is dangerous and is a leading causal factor in fatal motor vehicle collisions on OPP-patrolled roads," said the OPP.
Ottawa Police have been conducting Project NoiseMaker this spring and summer, targeting speeding, stunt driving and excessive noise.
Between May 1 and June 25, officers issued 1,150 charges to motorists, including 57 for stunt driving.
The OPP says the immediate pre-conviction suspension for stunt driving is a seven-day licence suspension, not 14 days as previously stated.